I spent my childhood swimming in what the locals called Swift River. At aged seven I was so comfortable in the water, my parents allowed me to supervise my younger sister; I can still remember helping her to navigate her way over the rapids. Leaving rural Jamaica was difficult and it took sometime before I discovered a swimming pool, absolutely fantastic, I could even swim at night.
Learning how to swim at an early stage in life is among the most exciting and rewarding experiences that a young person can ever wish for. Not only does swimming enable a person to be physically fit, it also grants a young person the opportunity to acquire a myriad of vital life skills.
Experts have proven swimming to be one of the best social activities that can actually transform a young person’s life for the better owing to the many benefits that accompany it. It provides a complete physical workout and assists in the burning of up to 300 calories.
Learning how to swim at a young age has also been proven to help in mental and motor development. Various scientific studies have provided proof linking swimming as a baby with the development of greater balance, movement, and the ability to grasp concepts with ease. Baby swimmers have also been determined to have a more advanced cognitive development than their non-swimmer counterparts. Swimming improves skills such as language and the ability to communicate without problems.
For me, swimming has helped overcome stage fright, particularly as a I was able to control my breathing in stressful situations, this proved extremely helpful during exams and interviews.
As a social activity, swimming can have very positive impacts on a kid’s social confidence. Children who get involved with swimming get to meet and mingle with their peers, which boosts their socialisation skills and also boosts their self-esteem. The child also gets the opportunity to learn from peers by observing and mimicking their actions.
In short, it is very important for a kid to learn how to hold on while in water, get to the side, or even swim to save another person’s life while facing the threat of drowning. Moreover a young kid’s hobby may eventually turn out to be his or her career, and parents should therefore ensure that their children take up the necessary skills that could help them in the future at a young age.
Abena Gray is a professionally trained swimming teacher who worked across London and its surrounding regions for more than five years, during which time I have acquired a wealth of experience working with children in the water. She is the founder of Goggle and Giggle, a swim school delivering lessons for children and adults at the Club.